Yesterday, the National Foreign Trade Council‘s President Bill Reinsch wrote a blog titled “Congress Needs to Act on GSP.” Given the name of our own blog, you could probably guess that we agree 100 percent with Bill. As the article points out, GSP renewal shouldn’t be difficult:
Liberals like it because it helps people in developing countries sell their products here. Conservatives like it because it is essentially a tax cut – lowering tariffs on imports. Labor likes it because it excludes the most sensitive items (mostly textiles and apparel) and has a process whereby labor can challenge the other country’s labor practices, potentially leading to a denial of benefits. Consumers like it, or would like it if they knew it existed, because it leads to lower prices for them.
That last line is our favorite, and we’ve tried to point out some of the ways GSP impacts everyday people in the past. Sadly, despite all this support, we still have an uphill battle to get GSP renewed before it expires on July 31. As Bill points out, this would be a “lose-lose-lose” situation, and one of the primary reason for this is lack of trust in Congress.
It looks like we may have a path forward, particularly if the Senate can pass a straight extension of GSP in the coming weeks. This likely will require moving by “unanimous consent,” or UC, which means that any one Senator can block renewal. To drum up support, we’re asking all GSP importers to use our Senate contact page to email Senate staffers. As GSP importers, we need to echo Bill and let our representatives know that “Congress needs to act on GSP.”